NBC’s “Today” show suspended one of its regulars, Billy Bush, as the network looks into Bush’s role in a videotape that surfaced late last week in which Bush and Donald Trump have a graphic conversation about women.
As we reported last week, The Washington Post published the tape, on which Trump is heard talking about trying to seduce a married woman and saying: “When you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. … Grab them by the p—y. You can do anything.”
Bush was off the show this morning. NBC referenced his suspension during its coverage Sunday night of the presidential debate, with Savannah Guthrie saying during a roundtable discussion: “We want to note one other thing: Pending further review of the matter, NBC News has suspended Billy Bush, who now hosts ‘Today’s’ third hour, for his role in the conversation with Donald Trump.”
USA Today reports: “The news of Bush’s suspension broke Sunday night, when a memo was sent to ‘Today’ staffers by producer Noah Oppenheim and obtained by USA Today from a source at NBC News who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter. The memo acknowledged that staffers at NBC have ‘all been deeply troubled’ by the tape, which surfaced internally Monday [Oct. 3] but was first published by The Washington Post four days later.”
The USA Today report adds: “The revelation has shaken up the presidential campaign and become a source of embarrassment for the network. On Saturday, NBC had said Bush would appear on the show Monday, but changed course.”
Oppenheim’s memo reportedly states: “Let me be clear: There is simply no excuse for Billy’s language and behavior on that tape, NBC has decided to suspend Billy pending further review of this matter.”
Bush apologized Friday for his role on the tape, saying he was “embarrassed and ashamed.”
He added: “It’s no excuse, but this happened eleven years ago — I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry.”
The tape is still available as part of The Washington Post’s original report, which you can see by clicking here.